Spanning multiple decades and numerous countries, the unique relationship has helped more than 100,000 people improve their livelihoods.
In December of 1958, Cargill President Cargill MacMillan, the youngest son of John MacMillan, Sr., released a company memo: “In lieu of the customary card, we are this year contributing to CARE’s Food Crusade as a holiday gift of strength and hope for the needy families overseas.”
This was the beginning of Cargill’s longstanding partnership with CARE, a leading humanitarian agency that works to alleviate global poverty. CARE started its work at the end of World War II, sending “care” packages overseas to families impacted by the war. Today, it improves education and economic opportunities across the globe, and strengthens food and nutrition security for families in 87 countries.
Following World War II, a period of dramatic global expansion at Cargill occurred—from Spain to Hungary, Peru to Taiwan. As Cargill grew, so did its contributions to CARE’s noble work.
In 2008, Cargill and CARE launched a five-year, US $10 million partnership to reach men, women and children in rural communities with nutritional, educational and economic opportunities for growth.
“Our work together has become a model for how CARE collaborates with the private sector to drive sustainable change.” — Helene D. Gayle, President and CEO, CARE
Programs vary by country, with initiatives that provide training, skill development, market access for farmers, schooling and nutritional support for children, and access to social services like healthcare and safe drinking water for communities.
The partnership also works to keep vulnerable children in school and out of the fields. Over the five-year partnership, more than 42,000 students have completed primary school, approximately 27,000 farmers have increased their incomes and 30,000 children now lead better, healthier lives.
Most of CARE’s collaborations with Cargill involve an employee volunteer component. For example, in Honduras, where Cargill employees have a 95% rate of volunteerism, the two groups created a model that pairs local Cargill volunteer teams with each of the schools that CARE serves. CARE provides training for teachers and parents, while Cargill employees install bathrooms, build kitchens and paint murals for the schools. In several other countries, Cargill representatives teach classes for students or lead training for farmers. So far, Cargill’s partnership with CARE has helped to improve the lives of more than 100,000 people in eight different countries.
Cargill’s affiliation with CARE is one of the company’s most significant, non-governmental organization (NGO) partnerships. In 2013, Cargill further extended its relationship with CARE by providing a three-year, US $7.5 million contribution. The two companies attribute their combined success to shared values and mutual respect—an idea echoed by Helene D. Gayle, President and CEO of CARE: “We have learned about the importance of agricultural best practices, quality seed and quality animal feed from Cargill. In turn, Cargill has embraced CARE’s emphasis on having the people in the communities we serve take a leading role in identifying problems and developing solutions they can sustain themselves.”
From modest beginnings—merely the cost of the company’s holiday cards that Christmas—Cargill’s contributions to CARE have led to a multi-year, multi-million dollar partnership, helping hundreds of thousands of people lift themselves out of poverty.